Full size Pick-Ups and Parking Spots

Messages
20
Location
Iowa
This is just something I've been noticing the past few years, and I'm wondering if I'm alone in this.

It seems that in the past, even a decently large truck like say a 3/4 ton would fit easily into a normal sized spot in a parking lot. A dually might ride the lines or overhang a bit, but otherwise the body itself would stay inside the lines. Heck, I remember working with someone who had a 90s F350 that he parked in the back of the lot, but that was because it would be on the lines. Not too many folks drive a 1 ton as their daily transportation. The last 1/2 ton I had(briefly) was a 94 Silverado that I regret not keeping, but I could basically park it anywhere I could park a midsize or full size car without any trouble.

In 2021, it seems like that's no longer the case. For one thing, 3/4 tons seem a lot more common than they use to be. Not sure what that's the case other than 1/2 tons with full cabs, short beds, and seemingly targeted more to the daily driver crowd than as working trucks, although a lot of 3/4 tons even seem to fall into that category these days.

In any case, though, I often see 1/2 tons that can barely hold the lines in a spot. Get up to the 3/4 ton size and forget it! It's not just the width, though. If you put a full length bed behind a full cab, you end up with something that you either need to park in two spots(at least) or stick halfway into the aisle of the parking lot.

I don't think lots are getting any smaller, especially considering how bulky even compact cars are these days. Still, though, it seems it's mostly the pickups getting comically large. Even full size SUVs-thinking of things like Grand Cherokees, which are popular around here-don't seem to have a ton of trouble parking.

Am I imagining all of this, or have pickups just grown a lot before our eyes?
Cars are smaller than they were years ago, line spacing seems to be measured to those more modern dimensions. I have a Ram 3500 single axle long bed. Parking garages can be problematic, and I avoid them if possible. Another thing is that I avoid parking around other vehicles, and never pull in, but back in. With a long wheel base truck it can be near impossible to back out of a spot, and much easier to pull out. I am very glad I didn't get a dually.
 
Messages
4,967
Location
Lima, Ohio, USA
that's one more thing for my nephew to get used to..
nearly all his driving has been in his mom's hand me down '05 Impala
he just bought for his first car, a 99 f150, Single cab long bed.
 
Messages
5,403
Location
Ohio
and never pull in, but back in. With a long wheel base truck it can be near impossible to back out of a spot, and much easier to pull out
Heh, I do this in my car, mainly for 2 reasons: 1) It has horrible rear visibility and 2) every single time, either SUVs, trucks, mini-vans/vans, etc will park on both sides of me ! :ROFLMAO:
 
Messages
16,007
Location
NE,Ohio
Trucks are bigger but many parking spaces are smaller too.
I really like the sams club in north canton with the double lined parking spots.

the one in fairlawn is terrible my cherokee has about 6" or less TOTAL between the lines(both sides combined)
 

bunnspecial

Thread starter
Messages
1,617
Location
US
Cars are smaller than they were years ago,

Are they really, though?

I realize that we're far removed from the land yachts of the 70s and even into the 90s, but looking at some other popular cars by width

2000 Toyota Camry 70.3"
2021 Toyota Camry 72.4"

2000 Toyota Corolla 66.73"
2021 Toyota Corolla 70.1"

2000 Toyota Avalon 71.7"
2021 Toyota Avalon 72.8"

2000 Honda Accord 66.7"
2021 Honda Accord 73.3"

2000 Ford Taurus 73.0"
2019 Ford Taurus 76.2"(last year made)

2000 BMW E39 5-series 70.9"
2021 BMW G30 5-series 73.1"

2000 Chevy Impala 73"
2020 Chevy Impala 73"

To be fair, these are still smaller than RWD body on frame cars like the Crown Vic(77.3" 2012) or Caprice(77.5" 1996) but even in the 90s this wasn't a huge fraction of cars on the road.

By the above, most "typical" FWD mid to full size cars have reliably grown ~3" wider in the last 20 years. I know I could cherry pick other examples to either support or refute it, but I think the Camry is especially telling considering that it's consistently been one of the most popular cars in America. The Camry gets even more dramatic when you compare it to '87 my grandfather put 250K or so on from new up to the late 2000s, which was 66.5" wide. Hack, the modern Corolla was bigger than his Camry.

I do think we saw a mass shedding of car dimensions in the 80s when FWD unibodies became the "default" choice for a lot of people over the older big RWD body on frame cars, but since then from what I see cars seem to be growing. The Crown Vic(and Panther as a whole) is one of my favorite car platforms of all time for how simple, reliable, and comforable it is, but in 2012 it was definitely more a relic than an example of a normal car.
 
Messages
20
Location
Iowa
Are they really, though?

I realize that we're far removed from the land yachts of the 70s and even into the 90s, but looking at some other popular cars by width

2000 Toyota Camry 70.3"
2021 Toyota Camry 72.4"

2000 Toyota Corolla 66.73"
2021 Toyota Corolla 70.1"

2000 Toyota Avalon 71.7"
2021 Toyota Avalon 72.8"

2000 Honda Accord 66.7"
2021 Honda Accord 73.3"

2000 Ford Taurus 73.0"
2019 Ford Taurus 76.2"(last year made)

2000 BMW E39 5-series 70.9"
2021 BMW G30 5-series 73.1"

2000 Chevy Impala 73"
2020 Chevy Impala 73"

To be fair, these are still smaller than RWD body on frame cars like the Crown Vic(77.3" 2012) or Caprice(77.5" 1996) but even in the 90s this wasn't a huge fraction of cars on the road.

By the above, most "typical" FWD mid to full size cars have reliably grown ~3" wider in the last 20 years. I know I could cherry pick other examples to either support or refute it, but I think the Camry is especially telling considering that it's consistently been one of the most popular cars in America. The Camry gets even more dramatic when you compare it to '87 my grandfather put 250K or so on from new up to the late 2000s, which was 66.5" wide. Hack, the modern Corolla was bigger than his Camry.

I do think we saw a mass shedding of car dimensions in the 80s when FWD unibodies became the "default" choice for a lot of people over the older big RWD body on frame cars, but since then from what I see cars seem to be growing. The Crown Vic(and Panther as a whole) is one of my favorite car platforms of all time for how simple, reliable, and comforable it is, but in 2012 it was definitely more a relic than an example of a normal car.
LOL Yeah I come from the era when cars were huge! My first car was a 1963 Pontiac Catalina. Length is really where the difference is.
 
Messages
17,658
Location
...
If a Tacoma is too big, the spot is too small.

It shows how much the Tacoma has grown. I owned a 1996 Tacoma. Today a Tacoma is as big as a regular pickup used to be.

Parking spots are definitely getting narrower and shorter as well.
 
Messages
5,022
Location
Southeast
Backup cameras ftw. When I lived in high density areas I learned that one could stop traffic to back into a spot, but traffic would not stop to let me back out. So I kept the habit as it just kept blood pressures down all around. Driving a truck, that camera gets me over the line, or half an inch off the fence, wall, or bollard. I’ll do this in both the car and the truck.

@The Critic - mentioned that the gen1 tundra was a 7/8 truck. It absolutely was, and it was a great size for daily use. Small enough that it really wasn’t a bother to handle in tighter confines, but still a very nice open cab and usable bed. It seemed to have more greenhouse than the new Tacomas, which are approaching it in size. It was also built like a brick s-house, a solid truck.
 
Messages
1,845
Location
SW Ontario Canada
The current Canyon / Colorado is closest to the size of 1970-80's 1/2 tons. A 1970's dad was a slimmer guy too.

Now lets talk about the marshmallow, cookie, chocolate treat of our youth that has SHRUNK ! Wagonwheels we're looking at you!
 

bunnspecial

Thread starter
Messages
1,617
Location
US
The last pickup I had was a 91 Ranger.

Mine was pretty darn basic with a standard cab/full bed and not a lot of "luxury" beyond A/C and an automatic. To me it was pretty much a perfect truck-it was big enough for a lot of my truck needs(haul furniture, loose dirt, or maybe even an engine or transmission) small was small, nimble, and frankly fun to drive. I've heard more than one person comment on these Rangers being more like a Go-Kart.

Growing up, my dad had a GMC G-15?(the GMC S-10) for a while that was bare bones-no air or automatic. Later on, he had a 96 Tacoma, and in a lot of ways it reminded me of a Ranger. I don't know how close they are in size, but I'd guess pretty darn close. It's a shame so many of those were crushed due to frame rot. A friend of mine sold maybe an '04 not too long ago-manual, 4WD, and I think a V6. He'd managed to get a frame replacement and not a buy-buy/crush on it. I was surprised at what he was able to get for that truck.

With all the old compacts, the real fun was in the extra cab. When I was in middle school, a friends parents had just bought a new Ranger with the fold out jump seats. I rode back there many, many times and it was...snug...to say the least. I think I was in high school the last time I was back there, and over 6 ft tall-it was barely tolerable in middle school, and down right uncomfortable as I was older. At least the side-facing Ranger seats gave a bit more leg room than the front-facing Tacoma seats.

I never really drove a compact truck much, but for 1-2 people the extra cab is just right for a daily driver or even taking short trips. When I drove that standard cab Ranger to work, my work bag would end up riding shotgun, and it would have been handy to toss it back there since I didn't want it rattling around in the bed. I could have easily fit an overnight or couple of night duffle bag back there also.

I miss those little trucks, and I was disappointed that the new Ranger was so big.
 
Messages
1,171
Location
United States
i can park a dually practically anywhere and drive it with a car hauler thru NYC

is it fun? no

is it doable? yes


and then of course there’s real truck drivers, ask them how they get around
 
Messages
17,658
Location
...
The last pickup I had was a 91 Ranger.

Mine was pretty darn basic with a standard cab/full bed and not a lot of "luxury" beyond A/C and an automatic. To me it was pretty much a perfect truck-it was big enough for a lot of my truck needs(haul furniture, loose dirt, or maybe even an engine or transmission) small was small, nimble, and frankly fun to drive. I've heard more than one person comment on these Rangers being more like a Go-Kart.

Growing up, my dad had a GMC G-15?(the GMC S-10) for a while that was bare bones-no air or automatic. Later on, he had a 96 Tacoma, and in a lot of ways it reminded me of a Ranger. I don't know how close they are in size, but I'd guess pretty darn close. It's a shame so many of those were crushed due to frame rot. A friend of mine sold maybe an '04 not too long ago-manual, 4WD, and I think a V6. He'd managed to get a frame replacement and not a buy-buy/crush on it. I was surprised at what he was able to get for that truck.

With all the old compacts, the real fun was in the extra cab. When I was in middle school, a friends parents had just bought a new Ranger with the fold out jump seats. I rode back there many, many times and it was...snug...to say the least. I think I was in high school the last time I was back there, and over 6 ft tall-it was barely tolerable in middle school, and down right uncomfortable as I was older. At least the side-facing Ranger seats gave a bit more leg room than the front-facing Tacoma seats.

I never really drove a compact truck much, but for 1-2 people the extra cab is just right for a daily driver or even taking short trips. When I drove that standard cab Ranger to work, my work bag would end up riding shotgun, and it would have been handy to toss it back there since I didn't want it rattling around in the bed. I could have easily fit an overnight or couple of night duffle bag back there also.

I miss those little trucks, and I was disappointed that the new Ranger was so big.

My ‘85 Ranger had the 2.8 V6 with a manual and it never ran right. I traded it in on a ‘96 Tacoma with the 2.7 4 banger. That engine was gutsy even with the automatic.

They were very close in size. The bed of the Tacoma might have been slightly smaller but when it came to hauling loads the Tacoma beat the Ranger.

I never had any signs of frame rust. My only complaint on the Tacoma was that the interior was chintzy. The headliner was simple vinyl sheet and the dashboard was really thin plastic resin. Not a luxurious truck but it did whatever I asked of it.
 
Messages
7,558
Location
North America
This is just something I've been noticing the past few years, and I'm wondering if I'm alone in this.

It seems that in the past, even a decently large truck like say a 3/4 ton would fit easily into a normal sized spot in a parking lot. A dually might ride the lines or overhang a bit, but otherwise the body itself would stay inside the lines. Heck, I remember working with someone who had a 90s F350 that he parked in the back of the lot, but that was because it would be on the lines. Not too many folks drive a 1 ton as their daily transportation. The last 1/2 ton I had(briefly) was a 94 Silverado that I regret not keeping, but I could basically park it anywhere I could park a midsize or full size car without any trouble.

In 2021, it seems like that's no longer the case. For one thing, 3/4 tons seem a lot more common than they use to be. Not sure what that's the case other than 1/2 tons with full cabs, short beds, and seemingly targeted more to the daily driver crowd than as working trucks, although a lot of 3/4 tons even seem to fall into that category these days.

In any case, though, I often see 1/2 tons that can barely hold the lines in a spot. Get up to the 3/4 ton size and forget it! It's not just the width, though. If you put a full length bed behind a full cab, you end up with something that you either need to park in two spots(at least) or stick halfway into the aisle of the parking lot.

I don't think lots are getting any smaller, especially considering how bulky even compact cars are these days. Still, though, it seems it's mostly the pickups getting comically large. Even full size SUVs-thinking of things like Grand Cherokees, which are popular around here-don't seem to have a ton of trouble parking.

Am I imagining all of this, or have pickups just grown a lot before our eyes?

I swear that spots are smaller.

I can precisely (and I'm always precise) park my Mercedes in an average spot, and have an even 8 inches on each side. It’s a smaller car than my ‘77 Olds 98, which used to have much more room between the lines.

Perhaps there is a minimum numbers of spots required for certain sized buildings, and developers have achieved that by painting the lines just a hair closer together?


Parking spots HAVE shrunk. I've seen several instances of newly painted parking lot lines being about a foot closer together than the older lines.

I went and looked up some statistics for Dodge/Ram:
1991, Extra Cab, Long Bed, 237.9" long and 79.5" wide
2021 Quad Cab, 6'4" Bed, 228.9" long and 82.1" wide.

So the '21 is 9" shorter and a little under 3" wider than the '91.

Spaces have shrunk. Trucks are not much bigger than they were 30 years ago.
 
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